I own no land, instead I have wheelestate. I’ve been a full time RVer since 1997. Working summers as a Park Ranger takes me to many beautiful places and playing during the winter takes me to many more. This blog is simply the story of my life's adventures.


Thank you for stopping by. Just to let you know, I'm still blogging but have moved to Geogypsytraveler. Hope you'll follow my adventures. Just click here.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Memorial to Carsondog - bears, bones, & balls

This post is a very long ramble. For Sky Watch please scroll down.

Carson was diagnosed with a tumor pressing on his esophagus. There may be more. I believe it’s called lymphatic cancer. Nothing can be done, and it’s only a matter of time. I brought him back home Wednesday knowing I’d have to take him back, when I decide too. So that’s today, Friday, at 4:30pm, when I set his spirit free.

Summer 1997 Carson, Washington

It’s been an amazing 11 ½ years. I’m so glad Carson picked me out of a litter of nine. From the spotted puppy wearing a beret and sleeping with a stuffed teddy bear bigger than he was. The watchdog in training who wanted to greet every person that came his way.

1997 Wind River flea market Carson, Washington

Fetching a ball or stick until my arm wore out. And always wagging his tail so hard that his whole body wagged along. The first time he went to the desert and walked from shade bush to shade bush, or sat in my shadow. He’d shiver and run into the bus when the coyotes howled. Or sometimes he’d sit between Dale and I out at the fire. I don’t know who was protecting who. Smart enough to teach himself how to sit up and beg.

2004 Me & Carson Vicksburg, Arizona

Singing with the harmonica, recorder or ocarina, a D dog. Frolicking in the snow, pouncing on snowballs or gingerly carrying them back to me. No, he didn’t always come when he was called. But he did always come eventually. Motsy and he running together, sometimes both carrying the same stick. The adorable nine puppies they produced.

1998 Motsy with 1 day old puppies

Carson's always been a traveler

“Get in the truck,” and there he’d be sitting in the passenger seat. Or the driver’s seat if it was empty. Nose prints on all truck windows he rode in. Asking to sleep on the bed when I was in it and treating it as his own when I wasn’t. Never chewed anything that wasn’t his. Knew the difference between my bones and his. Only once made a mess in the house and he was sick so couldn’t be faulted. He could hold urine for 12-14 hours, and then pee like a race horse. How he howled and cried when he ran into a pickup truck causing the pancake right rear foot. And when it got cold outside he’d run ever after with a hitch in his giddy up. Only in the last year did he learn to walk semi-nicely on a leash. And that with the help of neighbors and friends who walked him more than I did. So my fault that he’d tug and pull on the leash and one time pulled me to my knees to chase another dog.

2007 Cave Creek campground Oregon

And how he loved to swim and chase sticks in the water. Even trying to pull roots out of banks that were underwater bubbles rising up from his nose. But he’d only go in the water if he could walk into it not jump. And he didn’t like the ocean. How he’d shake and cower during fireworks trying to hide in a space smaller than himself. Bumping his butt on anybody and anything, trying to scratch his g-spot. Looking at me in the mirror to ask permission to go upstairs into the bedroom. Playing fetch side by side with Kaley. Digging a hole in the earth under the trailer, his dog house. Wrapping his rope around trees, poles, stumps, rocks, even clumps of grass and undoing it when I wasn’t home but barking for help when I was. Whacking the empty water or food bowl to just remind me. Rolling in poop and dead things when he was young. Eating huckleberries right off the bush. Meeting a cholla cactus with his nose and patiently letting me pull out the spines.

1999 Atalon Lake, Washington

Chin on couch and sad eyes looking for attention. Laying still and quiet watching the birds. Slowly creeping forward on his belly when told to lie down and stay. Bringing toys to greet visitors at the door. The thump he’d make as he jumped off the bed when I’d come home. The crunch as he chewed on a bone. Barking at every dog that goes by. Stinky farts and “the look” that went with. How he held a pebble in his teeth to scratch his foot, then sit it down purposefully between his feet, wash and pick it up to do it again. How he cocked his head listening. His mixed message of back hair standing up in a stripe while tail wagged.


Those big beautiful soft gentle brown eyes. How he’d jump up and down but not on you. Well maybe your toes. I almost named him Tigger for that jump. All stuffed toys were bears and all toys began with a “b”: bones, balls or bears. A dog treat every morning after his first trip outside. Going to bed before me and getting up after me. Getting stung by bees after digging up a ground nest. He never knew when he got a shot. Does he know he’s dying? Sniffing smoke: cigarette, campfire, diesel, smudge. Breaking his clothes-line rope and staying within his boundaries with two feet of rope dangling from his collar. Light brindled as a puppy, darkening as an adult and lightening back to gray as a senior. Snoring. Letting me wipe his feet. Scratching the door to go in or out. Learning how to lick his lips from Duece, Cyindi’s Rotty. The Vet gave him a shot to calm him and now he’s lying outside half in sun and shade sleeping, peacefully. The unconditional love.

2008 Yarnell, Arizona

Rolling on his back, belly to the sun. Not eating 2 ½-3 days when I’d go away. I got a man in my life so I needed a dog in my life. Carson was around twice as long as the man. Gray brows. Someone to talk to, my companion and partner. Stepping over him and usually missing. Dog hair, my hair. Hair everywhere. It’s so hard. I really don’t want to do this again. My house will be so empty. Circle, circle, circle then lay down. Tripping me with his rope. Little kicks and murmurs when he’s sleeping, maybe dreaming of a big chase. Wearing my old Forest Service belt made into a collar. The yawn talk. Such a good boy. Silky ears. My labby mutt. Little woofers. Snapping at flies, afraid of bees and knowing the difference. Best friend. Bed warmer. Funny boy. Nose bumping my arm to get scratches. Laying touching my feet. Hiking...........

Summer 2008

I dug a grave where Carson can watch the birds. I buried him with bears, balls and bones.

His spirit energy simply took on new form within the universe. But oh, how I will miss this simple form of mass covered with silky hair, tail wagging, and those brown eyes staring into my soul.
"And can it be that in a world so full and busy, the loss of one weak creature makes a void in any heart, so wide and deep that nothing but the width and depth of eternity can fill it up." --Charles Dickens


Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Oh Gaelyn, I write this through many tears ( so many the hubster checked on me), I am so so sorry for your loss, I know only too well the loss of a much beloved pet and it's a pain so hard to bare at first. Your tribute to Carson is so moving and your love shines out of it so brightly. You did the right thing, something we sometimes have to do as a testament to our love for them.

I know right now it's too painful to think about another. But if you're mean't to have another furry companion, then the right one will cross your path and you'll just know it's time. In the meantime I just want you to know I understand and am so sad for your loss.


Karen said...

This is such sad news. I am missing him, too. The North Rim dusty road will not be the same without him.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was incredible and with great feeling. What a dog, What a Partner, What a Spirit. You will be His Eyes and Will Experience The Universe With You Always.

Dancin' Fool said...

Hey. Just a little note to say I am thinking of you and am very sorry for your loss. I think any one who has owned and lost a dog will know something of how you are feeling.

I know all animal relationships are special however I do think dogs offer a unique companionship.

Big hugs from me, bye for now.

Cheryl said...

It was very hard to read your post through the tears! I know what it's like to lose a companion. We put our second German Shepherd to sleep 6 years ago when his hip dysplaysia got so bad. I understand the void in your heart.

George said...

What a great tribute to a great companion.

Patty said...

I am so sorry you lost your beloved pet. Our animals become such a part of our family and a part of our heart.

Anonymous said...

Oh Gaelyn, I am so so sorry. After several attemps, thru the tears, I finally read thru to the end. I remember when you got him &
I loved Carson almost as much as I love you. My heart is with you. Love & later, Darl

Texas Travelers said...

So sorry about Carson. It brought tears to our eyes.
Our old Akita had a stroke a few years ago we had to set her Spirit free also. It was really hard.

I am going to add you to our "Nature Blogs" blog roll.
I'll be back later and view your blog a little more in detail.

Troy and Martha


The Arizona photo location that you requested was made in the southern part of the Petrified Forest N.P....
South of the Haystacks and near Jasper Forest if memory serves me well.

We drove from Texas to Alaska and back in 2006.
We haven't been posting much lately, but are in the process of doing a trip log.
It contains a lot of photographs of the trip.
The photos and logs are usually on a Sunday post called "Alaska Sunday".
It is not about just Alaska but the entire trip.

Another color photo of that area is here,
Painted Desert.

Be sure to click on the photo and see all of the different rich colors.
It had just rained lightly and the soil colors were intensified, and the near late horizontal light was excellent.

Let us know what you think of the Painted Desert photo and our blog in general.

ramblingwoods said...

Oh..this was hard to read, but I enjoyed it..tears and all..He used a pebble to scratch his foot..How clever....I am so sorry and I have been there and had to make that decision......Michelle..

Arija said...

Losing such a close companion is devastating. Nothing ever fills the void unless perhaps if a stray dog insists on adopting you and nestles into a warm spot in your heart.
The last of our wonderful family/working dogs that had to go was not long ago. The vet came to the farm and five of us knelt around toutchin and comforting as she was put to sleep. Soon will come the turn of our beloved Kip who became disorientated on her walk today and had to be driven home. The time is also approaching for me to go, thus all things pass and transform into something much better.
May your friend rest in peace.

Amanda said...

I am so terribly sorry for your loss. It is at these times that words utterly fail me.

Tracy said...

I loved Carson too! We watched a glorious Oregon sunrise one morning while you were away and I was staying in your RV. Carson is a beautiful bundle of doggy joy, it brings tears to my eyes.

E. Michelle said...

Hi Gaelyn,

This is my first visit to your blog. Your pictures are awesome. I'm so sorry to hear about Carson. This post brought a tumult of tears to my eyes. May his spirit continue on in the universe as devoted and faithful as ever.

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